Waltham-on-the-Wolds CE Primary School rated ‘Good’ during church schools inspection
Staff and pupils at Waltham-on-the-Wolds CE Primary School are celebrating after receiving confirmation of their ‘Good’ rating following their recent Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools (SIAMS) report.
The school was found to be ‘Good’ across all categories, including a particular focus on the impact of collective worship and the effectiveness of religious education (RE).
In their key findings, inspectors reported that “The whole school community shares a clear and Christian vision for the school. This vision, and associated values, underpin the whole life of the school and inform every decision that is made.”
Inspectors also remarked that “Waltham-on-the-Wolds is a highly inclusive and caring community where every pupil is valued, nurtured and challenged as the unique person God created them to be.”
The report continued "Collective worship, springing from the Christian vision is valued, biblical and affirming. It is developed and enriched by strong opportunities for pupil leadership. Collective worship influences the lives of both pupils and staff, enabling them to flourish.”
Within their report, inspectors also found that:
- At Waltham-on-the-Wolds, the Christian vision, ‘let your light shine’, is clearly attributed to the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:16. This vision enables all to flourish because it is inclusive, aspirational and deeply rooted in the school’s local context.
- Distinctively Christian values of friendship, love, perseverance, respect and compassion flow naturally from the vision. These values are given life and relevance through key Bible verses and stories, and impact strongly on the whole life and work of the school.
- Committed engagement with diocesan and academy trust support has contributed to the exceptional clarity with which leaders and governors articulate and live out the Christian vision and foundation of the school. This informs exceptionally close and mutually supportive relationships between church and school.
- The school and trust vision for enabling every child to flourish and succeed has raised expectations across the school. All pupils are nurtured and challenged to be the best they can be and ‘let their light shine.’
- Through a social justice focus that runs across the curriculum and collective worship, pupils share a passion for tackling inequality. They are keen to talk about, ‘changing the world by our actions’, and are motivated to make a positive difference to the lives of others both locally and globally.
- Pupils care for each other with kindness and respect. As noted by a pupil, ‘We let our light shine to others by showing kindness.’
- As put by a parent, 'each individual feels part of a big family because everyone is valued and welcomed.'
During their report, inspectors also highlighted the mental health and wellbeing provision at the village primary school. They noted that “Mental health and wellbeing are championed for pupils and adults across the school... High levels of nurture continued through lockdowns and a recently appointed emotional literacy support assistant (ELSA) now works tirelessly to support children and families.”
The report continued: “Well-targeted and compassionate support is helping children to noticeably grow in their self-esteem. A school wide initiative in character development, linking values and achievements, supports children in using ‘character muscles’ to develop resilience.”
Julie Hopkins, Executive Headteacher at Waltham-on-the-Wolds CE Primary School, said: “We are proud of our Christian vision at Waltham-on-the-Wolds CE Primary, it is centered around maximising the potential of all pupils and ensuring that all children are confident and happy individuals who love life and love learning with their friends. I am incredibly pleased that all of our hard work has been recognised by the inspectors.”
Dave Ellison-Lee, Director of Education at Rise Multi-Academy Trust, of which Waltham-on-the-Wolds CE Primary School is a part, said: “As a Church of England Primary School, every part of life at Waltham-on-the-Wolds is underpinned by its Christian vision and values.
"This is an ethos that is shared with schools across our Trust, and as the report highlights, through a clear sense of purpose and collaboration, its influence and impact can be seen not only in collective worship and across the curriculum, but in the way that pupils develop as kind, caring and thoughtful individuals."